Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's Surreal Office Moment Brought to You By...Power Point

Guns don't kill people.  Bullets kill people.
No, no, not those bullets.  Power point bullets.
I took a trip a few weeks ago, and one of the new initiatives for our company involves having employees who take trips summarize what they learned in a brief Power Point presentation.  Which is fine.  Except when I'm spending 14 hours a day at work to do the bare essentials of my job--and not especially well, I might add, because even at 14 hours a day I'm doing a slapdash job, because I have so much to do.  The sheer number of failures I experienced today was truly disheartening.  So in this particular situation, the thought of spending time on the Power Point presentation is...loathsome.
So I got an e-mail from my boss's boss today saying that they really needed the presentation.  And I replied that no doubt sometime over the next two days I could cobble together a brief presentation, but that I wasn't sure when I could present it, because at this point every minute of testing counts.  And his response was that they didn't care whether I gave the presentation, just as long as I had written it.
This is insulting on so many levels that I can't even think critically about it--all I have is impotent rage.  First, there's the obvious conclusion that the damn thing is busywork.  Then, there's the fact that when they asked me to do it, they said it would be "a great opportunity to get in front of senior management and get your face out there."  Now, we all know that those things are at worst lies, or at best half-truths that are more a manufactured incentive to produce a desired behavior than a genuine offer to develop an employee or improve his or her opportunities.  But still, I'd like it if, having taken up the fiction, they were a little more careful with my ability to suspend my disbelief while reading it.
And yet, as I sit here at almost 9:30, I can say that I produced the damn Power Point.  I did it for two reasons.  One, it's easier to write a 7-page Power Point than it is to explain why your employer is an unjust and unfeeling villain.  And two, I like my boss, and I don't want him to go crazy trying to keep me sane, especially since tomorrow is Boss's Day.
And on that note, I'll leave you with:  Power Point Corrupts Absolutely

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